Words that matter : Yindyamarra, Wiradjuri resilience and the settler-colonial project in Tara June Winch’s The Yield

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Year of publication 2023
Type Article in Periodical
Magazine / Source World Literature Studies
MU Faculty or unit

Faculty of Arts

Web https://www.sav.sk/index.php?lang=sk&doc=journal-list&part=article_response_page&journal_article_no=30932
Doi http://dx.doi.org/10.31577/WLS.2023.15.2.8
Keywords Indigenous resilience; Resilience-as-survivance; Yindyamarra; Tara June Winch; The Yield
Description This article explores the implications of the concept of resilience in contemporary Indigenous narratives in which resilience is commonly evoked in reference to the adaptation and persistence of Indigenous peoples and their cultures despite the settler-colonial policies of extermination and persisting pressure to assimilate. Simultaneously, however, Indigenous narratives also present a sustained critique of resilience as perpetuating settler-colonial dominance and cultural hegemony through co-opting Indigenous adaptability by global neoliberal governmentality. The analytical part uses the example of a recent Australian Indigenous novel, The Yield by the Wiradjuri writer Tara June Winch (2019), to demonstrate how a contemporary literary text can be instrumental in unpacking the entangled, double-edged nature of resilience. A close reading of several key moments from the novel points to its intentional ambiguities which not only highlight the linguistic and cultural renewal (which I call resilience-as-survivance) but also problematize Indigenous resilience by critiquing the ongoing, oppressive nature of the current settler-colonial project, whether in the space of the mainstream museum or environmental degradation (which I call resilience-as-risk).
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